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Showing posts from December, 2011

Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) Report

Delivering Energy Efficiency to
Middle Income Single Family Households

A study released today by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) identifies steps that energy efficiency program managers and policy makers can take to deliver significant savings on home energy bills to middle income U.S. households.Middle income households – those making about $32,500 to $72,500 per year – account for a third of total U.S. residential energy use and figure prominently in meeting energy savings targets that now exist in most states.
The report offers a variety of strategies for making inroads on this challenging market, including:
Improving the effectiveness and appeal of outreach efforts specific to this market;Increasing access to financing through credit enhancements, alternative underwriting, and new financial products;Addressing health, safety and building structural issues in conjunction with efficiency upgrades;Bringing additional complementary public policies into…

HAS Manhattan gone MAD?

December 18, 2011 Rules Stretched as Green Cards Go to Investors By and Affluent foreigners are rushing to take advantage of a federal immigration program that offers them the chance to obtain a green card in return for investing in construction projects in the United States. With credit tight, the program has unexpectedly turned into a mainstay for the financing of these projects in New York, California, Texas and other states.
The number of foreign applicants, each of whom must invest at least $500,000 in a project, has nearly quadrupled in the last two years, to more than 3,800 in the 2011 fiscal year, officials said. Demand has grown so fast that the Obama administration, which is championing the program, is seeking to streamline the application process.
Still, some critics of the program have described it as an improper use of the immigration system to spur economic development — a cash-for-visa…

The Metro Movement

By BRUCE KATZ Amid recent calls that government needs to be put in the hands of the states, people seem to be forgetting that many state governments are bordering on dysfunctional. Albany is a national laughing stock. California has given new meaning to the term "ungovernable." Governors Sanford, Blagojevich and Paterson are late-night talk show punch lines.
Enlarge Image Getty Images In November, 37 states will hold elections for governor. State candidates will likely hit the campaign trail calling for a heavy dose of reform: Tighter ethics rules for legislators and more aggressive enforcement of those rules. New codes for lobbyists and lobbying. A commitment to transparency in decision making.
Yet the Great Recession and the fiscal meltdown require states to do more. Most critically, they must do the hard work of overhauling their bloated networks of local governments (all created by state law) so that they align more closely with the metropolitan geography o…

Brain drain? Many young South Floridians seek brighter economic prospects elsewhere

Three recent studies reveal that South Florida suffers from an unhappy confluence of economic and demographic factors that prompt younger residents to seek a brighter future elsewhere Lauren Hord, 31, moved back to Seattle from South Florida in August of this year with her kids Biala, 2, and Harley, 3. Courtesy of Lauren Hord By Deborah When Christina Caldwell moved back to her native Miami after living out west for six years, she planned to remain. But after two years of dead-end jobs as a bartender and receptionist, she left for California — for good. She now makes more than $100,000 a year at a post-production company in Venice Beach.
“I would never, ever move back to Miami,” she says.
Christina is not alone: South Florida is losing young people in droves, according to recent national and local studies. The area’s high unemployment rate, lack of innovative jobs and huge income gaps have created a…

Working Together: Economic Ties between the United States and Mexico.

The Mexico Institute, part of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, is pleased to present its newest publication, Working Together: Economic Ties between the United States and Mexico. The report looks at the ways in which regional economic cooperation can enhance competitiveness, stimulate growth and create jobs.

Mexico already buys more U.S. products than any other nation except Canada, but more than just an export market, Mexico and the United States are partners in manufacturing. Through a process known as production sharing, the two countries actually work together to build products. Imports from Mexico are therefore unlike imports from any extra-continental partner in the way they support U.S. jobs and exports. A full 40% of the content in U.S. imports from Mexico is actually produced in the United States (See page 17 of the report). This means that forty cents of every dollar spent on imports from Mexico comes back to the U.S., a quantity ten times greater than th…

Local and regional governance crucial to sustainability debate

-UCLG Press Release-

Local and regional governance crucial to sustainability debate

500 local and regional leaders came together in Florence for UCLG World Council

At the invitation of Matteo Renzi, Mayor of Florence, the City of Florence hosted 500 local and regional representatives from over 40 different countries gathered in the UCLG World Council from 9 to 11 December.

The main decisions of the UCLG World Council focus on the definition of the UCLG Strategy for the coming six years and pay particular attention to the contribution of local and regional authorities to the international debate on sustainability around Rio +20.

In his opening address, the President of UCLG stressed that building governance from the bottom up will be crucial for the future of our planet. Our citizens are taking the streets demanding solutions. We the local and regional leaders will need to be engaged in the global solution that is being sought. The Florence Declaration, recalling the core values of the citi…

Lincoln's Dissertation Fellowship Program announced

The annual C. Lowell Harriss Dissertation Fellowship Program of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy invites applications from doctoral students who are writing dissertations in fields that address these areas of interest:

Valuation and Taxation
Planning and Urban Form

This fellowship program provides an important link between the Lincoln Institute’s educational mission and its research objectives by supporting scholars early in their careers. Please distribute or post this information in your academic department. Applications are due by email on or before February 1, 2012.

The description and Dissertation Fellowship Program Application Guidelines are available at our Fellowships page; or download the guidelines directly.  If after reviewing this material you have further questions, please contact

Information about other fellowship programs for graduate students at universities in Latin America or China is available here.

IDB launches plan for Latin America’s emerging cities

Goal is to improve infrastructure by supporting sustainable investments. By Ligia Hougland for—29/03/2011 “In Latin America, emerging cities have a role to play in climate change or they could become victims of that change,” said Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank. (Ligia Hougland for
CALGARY, Canada – Latin America, along with the rest of the world, is becoming more urbanized every day.
That’s what Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), said during a presentation on the Sustainable Emerging Cities Platform during the organization’s 52nd annual meeting in Calgary, Canada.
Moreno said despite the fact that cities like Cairo, Egypt; Mumbai, India; São Paulo, Brazil; and Mexico City receive the bulk of the media’s attention, most of the world’s urban centers are small or medium-sized cities.
Moreno also pointed out there are more than 3,500 medium-sized …